In September of 1988, two years before I was born, a gruesome murder shocked the small beachfront community that I grew up in. Marty Tankleff, a 19 year-old high school senior at Earl L. Vandermeulen High School was convicted and sentenced to 50 years-to life in prison for the stabbing death of his parents. My grandmother was Marty's guidance counselor at Vandermeulen High, and was also close friends with Arlene and Seymour Tankleff, the victims. The story was sensationalized throughout Long Island; it was believed that Marty murdered his parents to collect on their life insurance because he didn't want to drive the "shitty Mercedes," that his parents bought him for his 18th birthday. My grandma could not believe that this reasoning was widely believed. People believed Marty was this stuck-up, spoiled brat from Port Jeff who disgustingly killed his parents because he wasn't satisfied with his birthday gift. Over time, details came out, and it was clear that Marty was innocent. I had heard about this story from a young age, and my grandmother always preached that Marty was the nicest, most normal kid in high school. When his conviction was finally vacated, Marty came over to my grandmother's house for dinner. I couldn't believe that a man who spent 17 years in prison could be so normal. This guy was like anyone else out there, but he received a terrible draw in life. It's great to see Marty Tankleff, a truly innocent man, roam the streets and socialize again like he deserves to.